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Nationals to oppose it in blow to referendum

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To date, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has said the Liberal Party has an open mind on whether to support or oppose the Voice.

A number of Liberal Party MPs including Tony Pasin, Phillip Thompson and Claire Chandler have spoken out against the Voice, claiming there is a lack of detail attached to the proposal, despite a huge volume of work having already been done on the proposal for the previous government.

Price said people she had spoken to in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory were worried about alcohol or substance abuse, their financial affairs and their kids getting to school.

“These are the issues people are concerned with now, they are not sitting around waiting for a proposal to come up with details about how it will improve their lives … we are here to serve Australian citizens of all backgrounds,” she said.

Littleproud said the proposal was “not a voice for regional, rural and remote Australians. This is one for those who live in Redfern – they’ll be okay”.

“But just think about those Indigenous Australians that live in Central Australia. They’re not going to have a voice out of this, they’ll have another layer of bureaucracy that won’t shift the dial of the legacy we get to leave.”

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Price also sharply criticised Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney, saying “Minister Burney might be able to take a private jet out into a remote community, dripping with Gucci, and tell people in the dirt what’s good for them – but they are in the dark, and they have been in the dark.”

“This Voice model is about empowering the elites to demand a transfer of power and nothing more than that,” Price said. “This Voice model is not recognition, let’s not get the two confused here … this is an entire bureaucratic country we don’t have details on.”

The Voice referendum is slated to be held in the next financial year.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.



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